Parting is never easy, especially if you have to divide the family silver. And MPs from Andhra Pradesh, streaming into Delhi to attend their first session of Parliament after the bifurcation of the state, are beginning to find that out.
In yet another turn to the division of the state and its assets, the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan in the heart of New Delhi is being split block by block, floor by floor, room by room. Even the Bhavan staff are being divided between the two new states.
Boards announcing the Telangana Bhavan and Andhra Bhavan have come up on either side of the main entrance to the building complex on Ashoka Road. Its canteen, a city landmark where a chair is hard to find during lunch hour, has gone the Hyderabad way, for now. Spared the division blushes, it will remain common to the two states.
But Godavari, Sabari and Swarnamukhi, the three blocks named after the rivers that flow through the old state, are being split.
Special Officer P Kiran Kumar says the division is in line with the 58:42 ratio reached on the basis of the population of the two states.
“Of the 72 rooms in the Godavari block, 64 have been bifurcated. The ground floor has not been disturbed. Rooms on floors 1 to 4 have been allocated to Telangana while floors 5 to 9 remain with Andhra Pradesh,” he said.
MPs checking into Delhi for the Budget Session are being accommodated in the Godavari block. The Chief Minister’s cottage remains with Andhra Pradesh.
All of Sabari block has gone the Telangana way. It has five suites plus two cottages — one is reserved for the governor, also common to the two states, and the other will be the camp accommodation of the Telangana chief minister should he wish to stay there.
But Swarnamukhi’s division has been somewhat strange. The states occupy alternate floors and the suites on each. “The ground and second floors are with Andhra Pradesh and the first and third floors are with Telangana,” Kiran Kumar said.
The canteen, auditorium and conference hall remain common but under Andhra supervision.
The division, overseen by a committee, has also factored in the Bhavan staff. The existing employee strength is 96, way below the sanctioned 168. Of the 96, Telangana has walked away with 38.
Last December, TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, now his state’s first chief minister, had raised Andhra hackles when he said Telangana would stake claim to Andhra Pradesh Bhavan since it had been built on the property of the last Nizam of Hyderabad, Osman Ali Khan.
But then claims, counter-claims bedevil every parting, every division of the family silver.